Transfer Students vs. New Freshmen

October 13, 2016

Questioner: Anonymous

Posed to: President John Delaney, University of North Florida

The President recently put out an email that cites the quality of the new freshmen. Could he please now share the same sort of data about the transfer students that UNF admitted this fall?


When admitting AA transfer students, state universities don’t collect the same data as they do when admitting first-time-in-college (FTIC) or native students. Thus, it is impossible to provide the comparison the anonymous questioner would like to have.

However, in an attempt to provide an apples-to-apples comparison we can provide the most recent graduating GPAs for AA transfer and FTIC students.  Of the 1,477 undergraduates who earned their degrees during spring term 2016, 876 began at UNF as transfer students and graduated with a median UNF GPA of 3.25; while 546 began as FTIC students and graduated with a median UNF GPA of 3.29.

These data don’t negate some studies that show performance differences in a limited number of specific courses.

In addition to noting the comparable median GPAs, it is worth calling attention to the fact that transfer students accounted for $9.2M in tuition that spring term, while native students accounted for $9.5M in tuition during the same term.